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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Heart Disease

Heart disease is any disorder that affects the heart's ability to function normally. The most common cause of heart disease is narrowing or blockage of the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart itself. This happens slowly over time.

Internet Resources

Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Comprised of cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, vascular surgeons, cardiovascular anesthesiologists, specialists in cardiac behavioral medicine and radiologists, Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute provides innovative care for all aspects of cardiovascular diseases and conditions.

MedlinePlus: Coronary Disease
Developed at the National Library of Medicine specifically for health care consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information targeting the lay public. Site features extensive information about heart disease and how to manage it.

American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is: "Building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke." This site includes extensive information on heart disease treatment and prevention.

Delicious Decisions
Delicious Decisions is a nutrition website maintained by the American Heart Association.


  • Back to life after a heart crisis. Wallack M. 2010.
  • American Medical Association Guide to Preventing and Treating Heart Disease: Essential Information You and Your Family Need to Know About Having a Healthy Heart. Lipsky, M. 2008.
  • The Human Heart: A Basic Guide to Heart Disease. Phibbs B. 2007.
  • From the Heart: A Woman’s Guide to Living Well With Heart Disease. Kastan K. 2007.
  • Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook. Polin BS. 2007.
  • Outliving Heart Disease: The 10 New Rules for Prevention and Treatment. Stein R. 2006.
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Longe JL, ed. 2006. Available in print at the Health Learning Center or electronically at  http://www.nmh.org/nm/health library virtual library .

Northwestern Memorial Hospital Patient Education

  • Exercise and Your Heart
  • Heart Healthy Nutrition
  • Modify Your Lifestyle to Reduce Your Risk for Heart and Vascular Disease
  • Your Heart and How It Works


  • Heart Health: What Smart Women Need to Know. 120 min.
  • Coronary Artery Disease. 30 min.
  • Heart Disease: Are You at Risk? 15 min.
  • Introduction to Heart Disease: Risk Factors, 2nd ed. 15 min.
  • Recovering from a Heart Attack. 11 min.


  • Cholesterol Control Model
  • Heart Chambers, Valves, and Vessels Model with Anatomical Chart


The organizations listed in Internet Resources provide support, education and advocacy. Mended Hearts is an organization that offers the gift of hope and encouragement to heart patients, their families, and caregivers. Call 1-888-HEART99 (1-88-432-7899) or visit http://www.mendedhearts.org for more information.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the  Health Learning Center  at 312.926.5465 or HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateJuly 30, 2012